GAFFNEY, S.C. — Shane Clanton wheeled his way into victory lane for the second time this season during the inaugural World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series stop at Cherokee Speedway on Friday night.
Clanton lead all 50 laps of the feature in front of a packed house at the three-eighths-mile South Carolina oval.
“This is a testament to my crew guys, as well as Marshall Green and Clements House of Power and everyone at Capital [Race Cars],” said Clanton. “This is special. We have worked awfully hard to get back to Victory Lane and luckily we held him (Brandon Sheppard) off.”
Sheppard, the current series points leader, made a late charge at Clanton in hopes of stealing the show and the $10,000 prize.
With five laps to go, Sheppard took the high line on the track to pass Eric Wells, who had held the position from a battling Sheppard since lap 28. Sheppard then quickly closed a five-car-length gap between he and Clanton to challenge the series veteran for the lead.
The pair stayed side-by-side until turn four of the final lap, but Sheppard ultimately ran out of time.
“We had a really awesome racecar once again,” said Sheppard. “I knew I had a little bit of an edge on [Wells] there at the end, I just didn’t make my move early enough I guess. I should have been moving around a lot earlier … I thought about it and thought about it and I just thought about it too long.”
“At the end of the day we had a really good race car. I wish it would have been the other way around but congratulations to Shane. He had a little bit of a rough start [to the season] so he did a good job.”
Wells explained that he was racing conservatively towards the end of the 50-lap race, due to tire troubles.
“I could feel that we were about to have some trouble but we just tried to hold on and finish in the top five since we were running third,” said Wells. “I was a little concerned there at the end but it held out. Overall a pretty good night for us. Just glad to be here.”
Cherokee Speedway fan favorites Chris Madden and Chris Ferguson also ran into some trouble during the feature.
Ferguson pulled off the track after lap one due to engine trouble, while Madden had a right rear tire go down after he ran too high in turn two on lap 28. That mishap sent him to the pits and to the back of the field.
With his win on Friday, Clanton joins Sheppard as the only multiple Outlaws late model winner so far this season.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series heads to Fayetteville Motor Speedway for another night of action on May 6.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…